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Tea is a boon but without milk
Previous studies have shown that drinking tea is a boon for cardiovascular
health, but now researchers have found that the beneficial effects of the
drink are 'totally wiped out' by putting milk.
German researchers publishing their findings in the online version of the
European Heart Journal show that a group of proteins called caseins found in
milk prevent the dilation of blood vessels which occurs when pure black tea
As a result they argue that those who drink milk with their tea should
seriously consider going without on occasion, in order to boost the
healthiness of their heart.
'There is a broad body of evidence from experimental and clinical studies
indicating that tea exerts antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and vasodilating
effects, thereby protecting against cardiovascular diseases.
'As worldwide tea consumption is second only to that of water, its
beneficial effects represent an important public health issue. But, up to
now, it is not been known whether adding milk to tea, as widely practiced in
the UK and some other countries, influences these protective properties.
?So, we decided to investigate the effects of tea, with and without milk, on
endothelial function, because that is a sensitive indicator of what is
happening to blood vessels,' senior researcher Dr Verena Stangl, professor
of Cardiology (Molecular Atherosclerosis) at the hospital, said.
In the study, reported in the European Heart Journal, 16 women drank half a
litre of freshly brewed tea, tea with skimmed milk, or plain boiled water.
Tests were taken on an artery in the forearm for two hours afterwards.
They showed that drinking black tea significantly improves the ability of
the artery to relax and expand -- but adding milk completely blunts the
'We found that, whereas drinking tea significantly increased the ability of
the artery to relax and expand to accommodate increased blood flow compared
with drinking water, the addition of milk completely prevents the biological
effect,' Dr Mario Lopez, who also worked on the study, said.
Stangl also said their findings could also have implications for cancer,
against which tea has also been shown to be protective. 'Since milk appears
to modify the biological activities of tea ingredients, it is likely that
the anti-tumor effects of tea could be affected as well. I think it is
essential that we re-examine the association between tea consumption and
cancer protection, to see if that is the case,' she said.
Source: rediff.com news, ANI, January 9, 2007
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